Micro Theme Assignment #1, Position #2 Our present society is composed of a ranking structure based on the premise that unequal distribution of rewards such as status, resources, and power is natural, right and good; and for this type of structure to stand, there must be many on the bottom, and a few at the top. Persons in the structure must either resign themselves to their status, compete to win a higher position, and / or defend the position they have. In order for some to move up this structural hierarchy, others must move down if the structure is to remain stable. Although this process may be necessary for our existing society to function properly, it can also prove to be detrimental to society. The competition, fear, greed, resentment and revenge inherent in these types of social systems continue to be formidable barriers blocking the way to social equality in our current society. Karl Marx believed that production is dependant on the workers material conditions present at the time.
Unequal distribution of rewards may cause those people who do not experience promotion or personal gain to feel insignificant to society, resulting in a low self-esteem and a reduced level of production. I enlisted into the United States Army for three years following my high school graduation. A good example of unequal distribution of awards is the military, where the whole income structure is based on a person's rank, and only one individual at the top of your chain of command can grant a request for an increase in rank. If that individual does not like you, he or she has the power to deny any and all requests for promotion. For the soldiers that were denied a promotion, they were looked down upon by many of their peers and leaders.
These soldiers soon began to act as if they did not deserve to be promoted. Marx said, 'how workers are related to each other can affect their family relations, leisure activities, child-rearing practices, and self-esteem'; (Kerb o 94). I observed some of these characteristics, such as low self-esteems, thoughts of quitting the Army before the expiration of enlistment, thoughts of committing violent crimes, and even suicide. The unequal distribution of rewards can also lead to what Max Weber called 'status groups'; , groups of people who obtain similar levels of promotion, prestige or personal gain in their workplace or community. These groups of people tend to cut themselves off from those not in their group.
As a result, the people who are not included in these groups may feel inferior, intimidated, or even inadequate in their workplace or immediate community. The unequal distribution of rewards will always be present in our current and future societies. As long as our society continues to use a ranking structure that bases people's worth by their education level, family wealth, intelligence, and / or job prestige, there will always be a separation of classes. I believe rewards are our society's way of placing all of the people who do possess the above qualities in prominent and publicly watched positions, so that we may appear as if we are an almost perfect society.